The human mind is an extremely potent tool and dictates how each of us live our lives.
The world is filled with differences, in our lives, in the environment around us, in every living creature on Earth. The commonalities lie in the principles, the systems set in place that then create the diversity that we all stem from. Looking back over the past 20 years of my life, I have noticed that our minds have an enormous influence on our entire existence. For thousands of years, humans all over the world have been fascinated and curious about all aspects that make our universe what it is. While we have (for the most part) discovered all of the external world, we are just beginning to explore, let alone understand, our internal experience.
For some odd reason, many people I have met seem to have a significant disconnect between body and mind. When I started this blog, I had little knowledge of where it would take me, or how it would evolve. One year in chemistry class, my professor told me that no one would ever find out how our consciousness connects to our physical body, and I told her one day, we would figure it out. Just as flying or sailing was once just an idea, so is discovering the connection between psyche and anatomy. Nothing about our minds give notion to the trillions of interactions (quite possibly more) that are going on underneath our skin moment to moment. Our understanding of the human body has made great advances in the last few hundred years, and yet we barely have an idea of how our nervous system is connected to our minds.
With that being said, we all have a concept of free will. Even if you believe in determinism, fate, destiny, or other similar concepts, that is your choice to do so. But if you believe in determinism, is it actually your choice, or are all of the “choices” you make determined by something greater than yourself? Statements like these raise a million questions, such as who am I? Regardless of what you think, believe, or feel, you are a product of your mind and your attitude on life. Like breathing, I have come to discover that thinking is both voluntary and involuntary, while our emotions are like hearts, always there until they aren’t. We cannot control how we feel about things, but we can control how we respond to those emotions with our thoughts and actions.
You get out of life what you put into it.
One concept I have learned quite a few times is that we get out of life what we put into it. Seems cliche and overused, but it is a universal truth. Whether it be a sport, a relationship, a job, or an activity of leisure, how much benefit and enjoyment we obtain (or lack thereof) is determined by the mental and emotional energy we put into it. How many of us have done a job, or sat in a class where we felt dull, uninspired, and drifted off into a daydream as our imagination thought up something more exciting? There is a fine balance that creates the dynamic of boredom and elation, and we learn where we want our lives to go as we progress through this balance. Ultimately though, where our lives go is up to us.
This may seem a bit confusing, as there are many things that we cannot control, and that is true. I cannot control how people respond to me, what weather I encounter, what quality someone else determines my work to be, who I am born to, what medical issues or deformities I may have, or what challenges life decides to put in front of me. With all of these variables and much more out of my control, the thought of living thousands of days seems to be quite difficult and for some, downright impossible. If being alive, let alone happy, were impossible, would we be here at all? However you believe life to be designed, it has not been created to be miserable. Yes, there are sad times, and some events downright suck. Some things are hell, there is no doubt about that, but every single circumstance we encounter can be learned from, and some of the worst experiences are often (if not always) blessings in disguise.
We all go through tragedy. We all have moments where life beats us to the ground. Some of us are born with incurable diseases, into a home life that creates fear and paranoia, or in some cases, surrounded by a natural disaster from birth. On the other hand, some people are born with all the biological and even emotional necessities they need. Regardless of where you come from, what matters is what you do with what you have been given. Life is much better when we are surrounded by people we love, when we are grateful for what we do have, and when we make the most of each moment. How does one bring these things about?
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, and what you read.
I have spent a lot of my life trying to find where I fit in. I have spent hundreds of hours alone, looking for where I am supposed to be, where my purpose is. Part of my feeling alone I learned came from the fact that very few of the people around me were even aware of the search for purpose. Much of the anxiety I had came from the fact that I was constantly looking. A few years ago, one night laying in bed, I decided that I could look indefinitely, and still not find my purpose. That was when a moment of clarity came, and I realized that my purpose was to be right where I was. Not only that, but my purpose was to be who I was, who I am, right here and now. Since realizing this, I have had almost zero anxiety, as I trust that where I am in each moment is exactly where I need to be.
A common theme I have found from books, mentors, and observing my surroundings, is that we all are an average of the people we spend the most time with. Recently, I have found that this also extends to what we watch, read, and listen to as well. Life is full of activities and ideas to follow, and having the power to choose, we are able to literally shape our life how we wish. Of course, there are limits to this, but virtually anything is possible. This concept is only amplified as time goes on and technology advances. Two great examples of this are Mother Teresa and Hitler. These people are on two completely different ends of the spectrum, and both of them got pretty far in their dreams, however great or horrible they were. What does this mean? If you really want something bad enough, you have the power to go for it.
I hope that everyone reading this, and even those who never do, realize their talents and abilities and use them to spread positivity and kindness across their sphere of influence. I have seen many places both good and bad that our minds can take us, and I realized that who we spend the most time around, has a significant influence on how our lives are shaped. With this being said, it is hard to cut people off who are taking away from your happiness. However, it is much easier to pull someone out of the mud than to be down there with them and try to push them out. The lives of others can only be influenced so much, and if you wish to change the world or even the people around you, change yourself first. I promise the results will be much more fruitful.
Have a wonderful day, and remember that all it takes is one small gesture to change someone’s entire day or even their life.